Dec 19th, 2010

Review by: Metal Mom

Abrahadabra (means I will create evil as I speak) is the 9th and latest full length CD released by Dimmu Borgir, a Norwegian Symphonic Black Metal Band. The term Abrahadabra first appeared in 1904 in “The Book of Law” and now it has been uttered once again as the epic soul of Dimmu. This CD has opened “Gateways” for Dimmu. With over 100 musicians, 51 from the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and using a 38 Schola Cantorum Choir instead of keyboards, all performing under the supervision of long time Dimmu collaborator, Gaute Storaas. This is also one of the biggest productions including 3 different recording studios. With Abrahadabra Dimmu has returned with a reborn darkness to a similar point of origin, perfecting their craft of 17 years. Their newest masterpiece released in September in Europe and October in North America by Nuclear Blast has got to be to date, the “Renewal” of Dimmu Borgir. As you listen to their newest you will see that they were not afraid to try new things, and it shows with this magnum opus, it has great balance , not too technical, guitars and keyboards are even, and the drums, definitely a driving force. I think you will find that there are elements to this CD that everyone will enjoy.

The first song to this latest CD is “XIBIR”, a haunting, epic, horror piece with the choir and orchestra. But still a hint of the Dimmu sound, an amazing introduction for what is to come. The next track is “BORN TREACHEROUS”, which is where you come face to face with the heavier and faster side of Dimmu, which is a band that is all about change, and you will hear it in this song. A much faster brutal sound. Then we come to “GATEWAYS”, the first released single off Abrahadabra, that is also a video. This song is also the one that people will judge the entirety of the CD on. But don’t judge, the songs on this are equal to or even greater than “Gateways“. You need to take the time to listen and you will discover the essence know as Dimmu Borgir. You need to expect the unexpected. And for this song, the female voice belongs to Agnete Maria Forfang Kjolsrud, at first I was put off because I always expect just to hear Shagrath, but after a few times of listening, I have to say that her voice compliments his quite nicely. Give it a chance, Dimmu is always moving forward, trying different things.


“CHESS WITH THE ABYSS”, a more symphonic driven song is next with more choir and some more technical guitar. This is one of those songs that you keep returning to, Shagraths vocals are legendary in this piece. The drums drive this one to its fullest potential. Next is the atmospheric and ambient sound of “DIMMU BORGIR”, yes a self titled song. This is my favourite on this album. Shagraths vocals is an epic, brutal sound compared to the choir, but both flow together like the Auroras over the dark castles and fortresses of the gateway to hell. Shagrath has mentioned in interviews about this album, that this song is perfectly timed with the rebirth of Dimmu Borgir. This song starts with some rarely heard acoustic guitar with what appears as Norwegian spoken intro to “RITUALIST”. It is epic and thematic, words are easy to remember and sing along with. For this song though it might be a hit or miss with some people because of the clear male vocals Snowy Shaw (Therion, Dream Evil),to me I don’t think they needed this extra vocal. Shagraths is all that is needed, his vocals are so very distinct and flow with the song perfectly


Next, “THE DEMIURGE MOLECULE” is a new chemical to cast spells and mix potions with. This is one of my favourites also, Dimmu Borgir expanding their borderless boundaries and making this, one of their experimental into the super extreme. No repetitions but definitely a fist pumping, horn throwing piece. “A JEWEL TRACED THROUGH COAL” opens with an impressive piano piece, building up to some orchestra and then into a fast paced Dimmu feel, then back again into the notable orchestra. This song is definitely a jewel on the CD. You can tell that this record had a lot of hard work and thought put into it, and has given the fans an amazing CD to listen to. Next is “RENEWAL” with whipping guitar licks, blasting drum beats starting this song off on a high tempo. This is a guitar driven song to the end of darkness. I would like to say at this point that Shagraths voice is “all” that is needed. The other voice that creeps in takes away from the sound that we all know as Dimmu Borgir.Last but not least is “ENDINGS AND CONTINUATIONS” , now this is a real shame that this song is the last, its pure Dimmu. But I will look forward to a continuation from this symphonic black metal band, and know that this is not the end, they have just broken out of the pattern.


Abrahadabra is a testament to Shagrath, Silenoz, and Galder’s musical incantations. It also shows that no matter what crosses their path, they will remain true to the end. In fact it sold 9428 copies the first week in the USA, landing it on the Billboard Chart at # 42, #2 in Norway, and in Canada, it placed #30. For myself, this CD is one that I just cant put down, it always finds its way into the CD player at home, or in the car. And each and every song is played and enjoyed to the fullest. So go ahead, buy yourself a copy, then you will understand what I am saying.

Dimmu Borgir- http://www.myspace.com/dimmuborgir
Nuclear Blast USA- http://www.nuclearblastusa.com
Nuclear Blast- http://www.nuclearblast.de

Photo By: Charlene Tupper